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Promoting Yourself to the World!!

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#1 Leigh Hubner

Leigh Hubner

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Posted 03 May 2004 - 05:03 AM

Hi all

I have a question which may have no direct answer, but who better to ask than your fellow operators. Here is my dilemma... I have been a cameraman for around 4 years, steadicam for just over 1 year. Operating a camera is something that gives me so much satisfaction. Swinging the steadicam REALLY provides a huge amount of enjoyment and when you really nail a shot/scene, a huge degree of satisfaction. The problem is getting yourself out there to prospective employers. It's all well and good to state the obvious, do lots of freebies, cheap jobs, make phone calls and send out your reel. That is something that I have done and continue to do. Experienced operators say, "once you have done one big job, you will be right". At the moment I feel like I can't get close to that big job because all you do is cheap/free jobs and aren't taken seriously enough. It could be said that I am a little impatient. I guess I would like to know what might be a good next step. How do you get those bigger production companies/producers/dp's to take notice? What is the right and wrong way to promote yourself? I have spent the last 12 months building up my kit which no includes: The rig, BFD focus iris kit, on board recorder, low mode cage, small 2.4gig Tx etc. The gear is more than suitable for TV, video and medium range film work. As an operator, how should I make myself known.

Sorry to have dribbled on a little. I look forward to hearing some tips and tricks!

Thanks in advance

Leigh Hubner
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#2 JobScholtze


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Posted 03 May 2004 - 10:08 AM

You have been operating for a year, be patience my friend, it will come soon enough. Use the cheap job's to get more experience. That way you build more experience to your operating and you will be ready for the big jobs. If you start too soon and you don't do a good job, it's much harder to get another one.
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#3 KarloTomic



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Posted 03 May 2004 - 11:47 AM

Hey Leigh
I'm in the exact same position you are (owner/op 9months) and Job hit the nail on the head. Patience really is the key, I mean, you weren't getting the A1 gigs when you started out as a cameraman right? I know I wasn't, you slog thru it and as people get to know your work you find yourself getting more of it, the same obviously stands for steadicam. I have a really good relationship with the camera dept. of a large film equipment rental company in my neck of the woods so anytime I want (which is alot) they let me come in with my rig and fly any camera that's available. My background as a cameraman has been in T.V, so I always fly film, this has been a huge help for me, not only for making me completely comfortable with virtually every major film camera out there but also because as I go through my paces in the test lanes and hallways I'm always meeting new people and slowly but surely things start to happen, you exchange cards and next thing you know, you've got 3 days here shooting an HDshort or a couple of days there shooting a music video on 35mm, it'll happen baby! Being a steadicam owner/op is huge investment, and the fact that you're at this point now shows that you had the brass balls to follow thru with it, weather the storm brother it really does only get better.
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#4 IanMcMillan


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Posted 03 May 2004 - 04:14 PM

Hi leigh
Its all good advice. Think about how you marketed yourself as a cameraman. Its the same, your just adding another string to the bow. As a cameraman you already have the contacts and client base. Get a show reel together. My first feature, The mighty awful flower arrangers... I mean Power Rangers... came from a shot on my show reel that I did on a $200. a day job.
But as Job said, don't sell people on things you can't do. In this business the bad news travels a lot faster than the good.
All the best mate
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#5 thomas-english


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Posted 05 May 2004 - 11:25 AM

so as not to look like a cheap amateur monkey, and more importantly not to devalue the craft iv e given people "huge discounts" from my top rate..... not the other way round... not, "i am charging this much at the moment"

discounts have been available only if the following conditions have been met

-directors not being paid
-unsigned band - if its a band
-no comercial interests have been satisfied except possible promotion of the production company itself.

in a small industry where producers do work for different production companies, I'm finding this a good way to retain a status, do loads of work covering costs and repayments, not step on anyones toe's and not devalue my proper rate if and when i get it.

i wonder if there are any other "unpaid/colaboration"-freebies-blags rules that could be effective
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#6 RobVanGelder


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Posted 05 May 2004 - 08:27 PM

I just had the chance to quote for a movie and in the schedule there were many standby/off days. It´s all on location, remote so travel is difficult. At the end it turned out that the standby days would take almost as much as the shooting days, even when the rate is lowered to 1/3 of a normal day rate..
Now this is for any producer not acceptable.
What to do.....

I figured, I don´t charge the standby days, but leave my operating days and the rental to the normal height because this is what they will remember and relate to for future projects.
As long as they take care of me for accomodation and per diem I would be fine. The amount of working days would still make me a nice month!

But I was surpassed by a guy with an EFP that wanted to work for half my quote!
(I have a master, preston,etc)

Sometimes you cannot win......... :(

Mentioning the great difference in equipment and experience didn´t do anything for me in this case and it was clear that the money must have been very tight!
( or the producer puts the difference between the 2 quotes in his own pocket?)

But I can and will not sell my stuff for the same price as an EFP-set, that´s just not going to work on the long run!

Rob van Gelder, Bangkok, Thailand
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